Founded in the 1840s by a surveyor who named the town after his Scottish home, Kelso is the county seat of Cowlitz County
in southwestern Washington.
The dramatic and much-lauded run of smelt up the Cowlitz River in January and February has earned Kelso the title "Smelt Captial of the World." Also plentiful are steelhead and sturgeon, making Kelso an important fishing and canning center.
In downtown Kelso, murals, such as the one above, adorn several older buildings, giving a glimpse into its colorful past. This particular mural depicts downtown Allen Street in the early 1900's with the old Allen Street drawbridge in the background.
Kelso and Longview, twin cities, sandwiched between Interstate 5 and the Columbia River, form the largest urban area in Cowlitz County.
Golf Three Rivers Golf Course |
History Cowlitz County Historical Museum |
Public Libraries Kelso Public Library |
Mountains Mount St Helens |
Science Kelso Volcano Information Center |
See more Washington Cities and Towns.
Request a Free copy of the Mile-by-Mile Guide to the Oregon Coast, which will be delivered to your USA postal address. Also request a free first issue of Oregon Coast magazine and sign up for coast deals.
05/14 Coming to The area
Water Music Festival Seaview WA April1 The Water Music Festival is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to bringing quality chamber music to the Lower Columbia River Region.
Astoria-Warrenton Crab and Seafood Festival Warrenton OR April26 Crab and seafood as well as entertainment. Listen to the Astoria HS Jazz Band on Sunday.
Seattle Japanese Cultural Festival Seattle WA April26-28 The festival features Japanese exhibits, performances, and demonstrations. Held at the Seattle Center in the Fisher Pavilion. The annual festival began in 1976 with a gift of 1,000 cherry trees to the city of Seattle from the Japanese government to celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial.
Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival Hoquiam WA April26-28 Witness the migrating shorebirds at Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and other birding hotspots in Grays Harbor County.
Columbia Gorge Wine and Pear Fest Hood River OR May18-19 Start off the weekend with friends and fun featuring Columbia Gorge wineries and eateries. Highlights include entertainment, live music, wine tasting, great food, fruit exhibits with samples, and local artisans.
Northwest Folklife Festival Seattle WA May24-27 Music and dance performances, visual arts, folklore exhibits, hands-on children's activities, workshops, crafts, food, demonstrations, and more!